Rumours that Microsoft backed software company Corel is to get rid of its Linux business have begun circulating again as the company prepares to unveil its new corporate growth strategy.
Analysts have claimed that the troubled Canadian vendor will announce the sell-off of its Linux business and renew its commitment to the graphics and office suite sector.
Corel is also expected to reveal details of its relationship with Microsoft, which has invested $135m in the company. A press conference is scheduled for 23 January.
Last October, Microsoft announced plans to invest in Corel, which had previously revealed a strategy to port its applications to Linux.
Corel has insisted in the past that its commitment to the open source operating system remains strong. The firm claimed that its partnership with Microsoft will not "change our Linux strategy".
In a statement posted on the company's website, Corel chief executive Derek Burney claimed that the firm has "aggressively pursued development efforts to give customers maximum flexibility on the Linux front". He added that the company has a "lot in store" for 2001.
The company suffered from financial problems after a proposed merger with Inprise/Borland, which had $240m in cash reserves, was called off last May after Inprise shareholders balked at the terms of the deal.
Corel, which is best known for its WordPerfect and CorelDraw applications, had previously declined to give full details of its relationship with Microsoft.
However, it did say that it would use .Net as a development platform to help it web-enable both its Linux- and Windows-based applications.
According to a statement from Corel: "Senior executives are in the final stages of reviewing the company's corporate strategy, which is designed to position it better for long-term growth and profitability."
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